Despite common perception, hair loss does not come down to one’s lack of luck. Most people naturally lose some of their hair as they get older. But age, changing hormones and heredity cause some to lose more than others. The result can be partial or total baldness, for which men are more likely to experience. So how does it start? Well, the normal life cycle of hair is between two and three years and during this cycle it grows approximately one centimetre each month. About ninety percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time, with the remaining ten percent in a resting phase. After 3 to 4 months, the resting hair falls out and a new one starts to grow in its place. Given the natural cycle, it is normal to shed some hair each day. However, some people may lose more than normal. What causes excessive hair loss?
There are a number of factors that can cause temporary hair loss including:
- Stress – stress is a powerful emotion that can wreak havoc on your behaviour, skin, nervous system and even your scalp. People often lose hair from the sheer stress of an illness or major surgery. The good news is that when caused by stress it is usually temporary.
- Hormone imbalance – this type of hair loss is usually associated with an overactive or underactive thyroid glands or an androgen or estrogen is out of balance. In most instances, simply addressing the hormone imbalance may stop it.
- Disease or infections – hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease like lupus or diabetes or can eventuate due to certain infections like fungal infections of the scalp. Hair loss associated with disease or infections can usually be cured once the disease or infection is treated.
- Medicines – anticoagulants or medicines used for gout, high blood pressure, depression or heart problems can cause hair loss.
- Hairstyles – any hairstyles which pull on your hair (like cornrows, tight pigtails or hair rollers) can cause a type of loss called traction alopecia. If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, hair will grow back normally.
If you don’t fit into one of these categories, there is a good chance that you fit into the category known as ‘common baldness’. ‘Common baldness’ is an inherited trait found mostly in men which starts with a receding hairline and eventuates to baldness on top of the head.
There are a range of hair loss treatments on the market now from shampoos and balms to handheld laser machines. Which one you choose is extremely important so you should seek professional advice in selecting a treatment that is made specially to suit your lifestyle and your situation. You should look for a reputable company who has a good track record and is specialised in permanent hair replacement. For those who have already experienced excessive loss of hair, a hair transplant might be necessary. But rest assured, hair loss surgery has evolved and the procedure has become less invasive, promoting more natural hair growth results.